A traditional double-ended Balinese drum or Kendhang used in religious ceremonies and as part of the gamelan orchestra, this instrument is usually played on its side, resting in the player’s lap. It can be tuned very easily by sliding the knots in the leather stringing. It is played with a wooden beater in one hand and with the palm and finger tips of the other.
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Our Balinese drums are made from traditional jackfruit wood, which is very hard and rather heavy. The heads and strings are made from cow skin by specialist Balinese drum makers.
Good Kendhang are said to be made from the wood of jackfruit, coconuts or cempedak. Buffalo hide is often used for the ‘bam’ (the surface which emits low-pitch beats) while goatskin is used for the ‘chang’ (the surface which emits high-pitch beats).
The skin is stretched on y-shaped leather or rattan strings, which can be tightened to change the pitch of the heads. Thinner leather will generate sharper sounds.